Columbo: Season 3, Episode 6

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 783 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

The director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses commits a clever murder. But another kind of genius is on the case: Lt. Columbo.



(teleplay), (teleplay), 4 more credits »
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 9 titles
created 16 Jul 2011
a list of 6602 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
a list of 311 titles
created 15 Dec 2012
a list of 2595 titles
created 16 Apr 2013
a list of 69 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974)

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
« Previous Episode | 22 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Marshall Cahill (as Jose Ferrer)
Dr. Howard Nicholson
Neil Cahill (as Robert Walker)
Steve Spelberg (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Margaret Nicholson
Lou Wagner ...
Arthur Batanides ...
Murph (as Art Batanides)
Darrell Zwerling ...
Motel Manager
Charles Macaulay ...
John Zaremba ...
William Bryant ...
Bert Holland ...
Ed Fury ...
Jefferson Kibbee ...


Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 February 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(dvd release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Columbo makes reference to his "wife and kids", intimating a larger family than perhaps previously believed. See more »


Margaret Nicholson: You're pretty observant.
Lt. Columbo: Some people say I'm snoopy.
See more »


References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Very entertaining
15 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I may be biased, as I have always loved Columbo, but I really liked Mind Over Mayhem and found it very entertaining. Is it one of the best Columbos? No. But it is far from the worst. The story is very clever and absorbing overall, but has some implausibilities, I was confused about the purpose of the brandy glass and I didn't find it very easy to believe that a murderer so intelligent would trip himself up so badly and obviously with the cigar. I think these two could have been avoided, if the episode was 5 minutes longer. On the other, as usual it is a beautifully shot episode, with a fitting music score and great episode, Cahill's " have a very transparent mind..." being the best of the entire episode. Peter Falk is as ever sublime as Columbo, with great comic timing and his scenes with Ferrer's Cahill beautifully dynamic. Jose Ferrer is excellent, his character Cahill very intelligent and pompous. Robert Walker Jnr and Lew Ayres also give good performances, and it was a joy seeing Robby the Robot and he is well used. The reference to Steven Spielberg is unsubtle I give you that, but I didn't see it as much of a problem. All in all, entertaining and definitely worth seeing. 7/10 Bethany Cox

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Guest stars you would've love to have seen in the 70's episodes old-skool101
Has this ever happened in Columbo? Nexusfactor
An Exercise In Fatality: 'He Slipped'? newdickmorris
Favorite Detectives? newdickmorris
Question for Columbo Experts: Episode set in Seattle (Underground). davidcklann
Columbo losing his temper--rare occurrence! IloveMuggy
Discuss Mind Over Mayhem (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: